Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Marine litter stakeholder conference

HELCOM invited a wide array of stakeholders to announce – or reiterate – their commitment for combating marine litter in the Baltic Sea in a Stakeholder Conference, held on 9 March 2016 back-to-back with HELCOM 37-2016.

HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter ​was recently adopted. Key focus of the Conference is to strengthen and broaden the ownership in pushing into action the thirty agreed regional tasks of the Plan.


9.00 – 10.00                        
Registration and breakfast. Exhibition activities

10.00 – 12.00                             

10.00 – 10.15                                
Welcoming words and setting the scene

Urmas Lips (HELCOM Vice-Chair)

Monika Stankiewicz (HELCOM Executive Secretary)

Heike Imhoff (Moderator of the Conference; German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety)​

10.15 – 11.15                                
Round trip to the four main themes 

This part guides the audience through the main thematic areas of marine litter in the Baltic Sea, with specialists handpicked as info points. The selection of themes is based on the public vote of most important topics to be covered. ​

1)      Micro particles
Peter Kershaw (Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection – GESAMP/International Maritime Organization)

2)      Waste delivery in ports and marinas 
Hermanni Backer 
(HELCOM Secretariat)

3)      Waste management on land 
Mikhail Durkin (Coalition Clean Baltic – CCB) & Peeter Eek (Ministry of the Environment of Estonia)

4)      Waste related to fishing and aquaculture
Mark Bernard Merkx (Waste Free Oceans – WFO)

11.15 – 12.15                                The league of experts

With the fresh ideas in mind from the morning round trip, the panel expands further on the complex issue of marine litter, with particular focus on the four main themes. From their different angles of expertise, the participants share their own summarized views on the best future-orientated actions against litter. The audience and moderator alike will assist in distilling the thoughts to support dedicated cross-sectoral combat against litter.

–        Anna Bobo Remijn (European Commission Directorate-General Mobility and Transport – DG MOVE)​

–        Peter Kershaw (Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection – GESAMP/International Maritime Organization)

–        Saijariina Toivikko (European Federation of National Associations of Water and Wastewater Services – EurEau)

–        Stefanie Werner (Federal Environment Agency – UBA, Germany)

​12.15 – 13.45                      
Lunch. Exhibition activities

13.45 – 16.00                        

Lifting up the litter challenge to higher levels

The participants representing different sectors and backgrounds will elaborate on how to raise the marine litter issue higher in national, regional and European agendas. The speakers are invited to announce how individual organizations and initiatives can better join the combat against litter. What are the bottlenecks? How to seize the best incentives? The speakers and the audience are encouraged to explore the issue and comment each other.

–        Erja Tikka (Baltic Sea Ambassador, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland)

–        Matjaz Malgaj (European Commission Directorate-General Environment – DG ENV)

–        Sally Clink (Baltic Sea Advisory Council – BSAC)

–        Kaisa Kononen (BONUS – Baltic Organisations’ Network for Funding Science EEIG)

Anja Nysten (Nordic Environment Finance Corporation – NEFCO)

14.30 – 15.00                      
Coffee break. Exhibition activities

15.00 – 16.00                                     

Convincing others to follow 

Since there already are many promising initiatives on marine litter, one can proudly present some of the success stories and best practices. Further engagement can be encouraged by selected examples from municipalities, projects and the private sector:

Note that some titles are tentative

–        Igor A. Grigorjev (tbc, St. Petersburg Environmental Committee): Local actions of land-based marine litter prevention: The Case of the City of St. Petersburg

–        John Hanus (JPI Oceans): European microplastics research cooperation as a basis for global action

–        Marta Kalinowska (WWF Poland): Reducing the impact of marine litter on the Baltic Sea environment from Derelict Fishing Gear – in cooperation with fishermen

–        Vesa Kärhä (PlasticsEurope/Finnish Plastics Industries Federation): Nordic plastics action in reducing marine litter – What has been done, what is going on and what more could be done?

–        Esa Nikunen (City of Helsinki): Local solutions to a global problem  – urban runoff of marine litter challenging coastal cities​​

16.00 – 16.30